Atlanta oral challenge food allergy test.

An oral food challenge is a food allergy testing procedure used to diagnose allergies to eggs, milk, peanuts and other foods. Usually regarded as the gold standard among food allergy tests, it provides highly accurate results that can help build an effective allergy management plan for Atlanta patients. If you want to know more about your food allergy, familiarizing yourself with the oral food challenge is essential.

What Is an Oral Food Challenge?

An oral food challenge is a test used to confirm the presence or absence of a food allergy. During the test, patients eat food in gradually increasing amounts to monitor for any responses. It’s most often used when quicker testing procedures (like a skin prick or blood test) are inconclusive. This test is also commonly used to confirm whether a child has outgrown an allergy. It identifies allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat and other food allergens.

What Happens During an Oral Challenge Food Allergy Test?

On the day of the challenge, your allergist will explain the procedure in detail, including why food allergy testing is important, and how the test will proceed.

Oral Food Challenge Preparation

You may need to temporarily stop taking certain medications (like antihistamines) for the test. Speak with your allergist about this, and bring a list of medications and relevant medical records. Wear comfortable clothing and bring books, toys or other entertainment to keep you or your child occupied during the observation period.

Food Consumption

Initially, you will eat only a tiny dose of the food as you are monitored for the appearance of an allergic reaction, however mild it might be. The dose is then gradually increased every 15–30 minutes. An oral food challenge will often take from between three to six hours.

Patient Observation

Between each dose, your allergist will look for signs of an allergic reaction. This could include hives, stomach pains, breathing difficulties or even an anaphylactic reaction. If indications of an allergic reaction appear, the test will be stopped and prompt treatment is administered.

Post-Challenge Monitoring

After completing the challenge, you will need to remain in the allergist’s office for around one to three hours to ensure there are no further symptoms.

What Happens After the Oral Food Challenge?

If you can tolerate the highest dose without a reaction, then the test is negative, and you might be able to introduce that food into your diet. And in contrast, the appearance of symptoms would indicate a positive result. If you test positive for an allergy, your allergist can then discuss the best food allergy treatments to minimize the risks of ongoing reactions.

Visit Us for Oral Food Challenge Testing in Atlanta

For an accurate diagnosis of a food allergy, visit one of our centers in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth or Johns Creek. We offer convenient oral food challenges, skin prick and blood testing services. To learn more, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment today.

Image Credit – Dmytro Zinkevych/